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I want my children to grow up feeling loved, cared for, appreciated, and accepted for who they are. I wish I could say that I am certain they feel all of those things as I hoped they would. It’s hard to know for sure.

I childishly thought I could secure their inalienable rights to these assurances just because I wanted to do so. No one told me that trying in earnest might not be enough.

I cannot promise my children the security and self-esteem they deserve. I don’t have what it takes to always get it right. Neither my love for them nor my desire to protect them is enough to ensure that they will never feel unwanted, or broken, or empty.

I can tolerate the boredom, the frustration, the lack of appreciation, and even the Sisyphean nature of motherhood. What hurts is the reality that, despite my best efforts as their mother, I still might have failed at what was needed most.